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Beth Behrs stars as Caroline Channing, a rich socialite turned diner waitress, on the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, and while she shares her character’s contagiously cheery disposition, you won’t find the actress wearing Louboutins every day. Instead, she prefers her cowboy boots.
“I got my first pair of cowboy boots from Lady Antebellum,” Behrs, who starred in the country trio’s “Downtown” music video last March and introduced them before their performance at Friday’s “We Can Survive” concert, tells Pret-a-Reporter. Since then, the UCLA alumna has been obsessed with collecting Western kicks and wearing them during her horseback rides, a hobby she shares with boyfriend, Mad Men star Michael Gladis.
Behrs’ passion for country music has also taken her to Nashville where, during her downtime, she’s been working on someday releasing her own music (“In the very far future,” she emphasizes). Until then, we get to enjoy the 28-year-old star’s acting chops with her co-star and real-life bestie Kat Dennings, as they return to the fall TV lineup with 2 Broke Girls on Monday nights.
Before the show’s return on Oct. 27, we chatted with Behrs about Kim Kardashian‘s appearance in season four’s first episode, what’s going on with her yet-to-be-heard music and when she got into fashion (it involved going to a UCLA frat party).
Based on your Instagram, it looks like 2 Broke Girls has a very special guest for its season four premiere.
Oh, our first episode — yes, Kim Kardashian. She was so sweet and cool, and Kat and I loved her. She fit right in, really funny.
What did you learn about her?
She’s so beautiful — her skin, her face, her body is amazing. I was so surprised that she seemed down to earth and acted completely with no ego. Just so normal, funny and cool, which is kind of refreshing.
What can you tease about season four?
Oh my gosh, there’s so much. Well, the first episode you see [Kardashian], and you also see my new haircut, which is a big thing. You’ll see how that all happens. Season four, we have a lot of special guests coming up. Lily Aldridge and Martha Hunt, and a bunch of other models — that’s a really funny episode. We have Jesse Metcalfe coming up. We also have a new venture for the girls, a huge new venture that’s going to be a different part of the show, so it’s going to change a little bit this year, which is exciting and cool. They’re getting older, and cupcakes are fine, but it’s not paying the bills, so they’re kind of moving into a new venture.
Would you say you have similar taste as Caroline?
Yes and no. Caroline, I mean, she doesn’t even put on her pajamas without wearing heels — and I love a good pair of Louboutins and Brian Atwood on the carpet, but I’m a little more tomboy than she is. She’s a little more pearls and prissy — and I’m like, “My boots have horse poop on them.”
So you go horseback riding?
I do. I just started a few years ago and I honestly wish I had more time than I do to devote to it. We have a horse on the show who plays Chestnut — love him. His real name is Gunner and his trainer has a ranch, so he lets me come ride sometimes. It’s up north, around Ventura County. It’s awesome. My boyfriend [Gladis] and I were doing it the other day. It’s beautiful. It’s nice to be outside; we’re in the studio 15 hours a day so it’s something that really calms me. It’s very relaxing and meditating.
That’s awesome. Where did you get those boots from?
These are a great story. Well, I got my first pair of cowboy boots from Lady Antebellum. I did their music video and I was like, “I don’t have a pair of cowboy boots!” so Hillary [Scott] and the boys got me my first pair of boots, which I’m obsessed with. They were my first foray into cowboy boots. Then I went and visited Hillary in Nashville and these are from a boutique in Nashville. These are just the darker ones to wear with this dress, but I love the one they gave me as well. It did start me down a rabbit hole of cowboy boots though. They’re just so comfortable!
How many pairs do you own now?
I also got some fancy ones, too, that I wear out now, so I have like four pairs, which isn’t horrible. And I went to a vintage store and got some white funky ones. I have all sorts of funky ones, so maybe I have close to five or six.
That’s not too insane.
Oh no, I don’t have like 10. No, no — not yet. I mean, give me a few years. (Laughs.)
Tell us about your dress.
This is from one of my favorite stores, called Reformation, which I guess is technically vintage, but it doesn’t feel — they restore at Reformation. I just love it for anything — spring and summer, especially since it’s still 70 degrees right now in L.A. The whole summer dress and boots thing is my favorite.
What’s your favorite memory with this dress?
I wore this to a barbecue once of Katy Perry‘s and she loved my dress and asked me where I got it, so it holds a special place in my heart because of that. Because if Katy Perry approves, then I’m fine. It’s all good.
How about your necklace?
This I love — I also got this necklace in Nashville. I’ve been going to and from Nashville, actually, songwriting. I kind of started a new venture down there because I’ve always loved country music and I’ve sung, but if I’m going to do any album someday — in the very far future — I want to do it right and really learn. They’re all so incredibly talented down there. So this (holds necklace) is from this beautiful store called White’s Mercantile that Holly Williams owns, but it’s [by] a brand Miriam Designs and it’s all made by women who have been trafficked or homeless. It’s for a really good cause, so I’ve pretty much bought all their jewelry because proceeds go there, and it’s just really cool, kind of rustic-feeling and goes with my day-to-day vibe. And it says “courage,” which is awesome.
About this country album?
Someday. I’m so lucky to have 2 Broke Girls, which takes up a lot of time, so I’ve just been going whenever I have time off and learning from amazing musicians down there. It will be a long process, I hope, and a good one when I finally do put out some music into the world.
Who are some country acts you admire?
Lady Antebellum, obviously, they are the most talented and their songwriting is incredible. I grew up on Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss — so that kind of old-school bluegrass country [sound] is my favorite — and Dolly Parton.
We noticed you posted a few videos of bluegrass country performances on your Instagram.
Well, I work a lot with Ed Helms and Amy Reitnouer, who have a company here called The Bluegrass Situation, which produces amazing concerts, so I’ve been helping them get the word out. They just did a huge bluegrass festival in L.A. and it was rad. It was at the Ace Hotel downtown, so they’re doing amazing things with the whole roots country scene in L.A.
Perhaps we’ll see you perform at the next festival.
Someday, yes — hopefully! That would be amazing.
Earlier you mentioned having more of a tomboy look. Was that your style as a kid too?
It’s like a girly tomboy. When I was younger, I played a lot of sports, and to be honest, I think all I wore throughout middle school and the beginning of high school was my warmups, like my soccer shorts. This is, like, embarrassing — I’m sorry to say. (Laughs.) I grew up in Virginia and NorCal — style is much different than L.A. and New York there — so like jeans, a very hip vintage shirt and boots. It was kind of the same thing I’m into now, actually, but much less done up. I feel like it’s so fun for the red carpet, but in my day-to-day life, especially playing Caroline, I’m flipping into a dumpster in Louboutins, so when I get home, I want to wear these (points to boots). But if I didn’t have that in my life as much, I’d probably wear them more often. And I just got this pair of boots that Lily Aldridge actually had on our show — these Tabitha Simmons boots that I splurged on because they’re incredible. I still like my girly, fancy [pieces] sometime, but day-to-day is more this.
How do you dress when you’re headed to set?
On set, even when it’s 80 [degrees] here, for some reason, the air conditioning is broken or something so it’s always freezing, so I wear parkas pretty much every morning. I just got this beautiful Steven Alan parka in New York just to wear [on set] because it’s never that cold in L.A. but it is on set. Kat and I usually wear a great pair of jeans and a tank top or a blouse, and then I wear flats for rehearsal and then I change into Caroline’s shoes for a run-through.
Do you and Kat do a lot of shopping together?
We do a lot of online shopping. We’ll send each other [messages], “Do you think I should get this?” and those Tabitha Simmons boots, we both bought. We sometimes twinsies at table reads. She’s more like her character in the sense that she dresses pretty chill and cool.
Where do you search online?
Was there anyone’s style you admired growing up?
I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn because I liked the skinny jeans with the ballet flats and a cute blouse. I was like a young teenager during the days of Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani — I mean, Gwen is still a style god. On The Voice, I watch just to see what her hair and makeup looks like. She’s beautiful. I kind of grew up loving those two. And Avril, remember when she did the menswear? I’m embarrassed to say but I think I did do the tie back in the day.
When you did you start caring about how you dressed?
I think it was when I went to UCLA. I grew up in Lynchwood, Virginia, where we grew up on farms, but it was also very Southern in the sense that there was a lot of pearls, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren — very preppy, which I did like. I still have a little bit of that in me, too, but then I moved California and you know, there’s so much more of a boho-chic vibe and I really got into that. I moved here when I was 16 and then I went to UCLA, so I think it started around then.
Any fond fashion moments from your days at UCLA?
Well, one of the first times I was at UCLA to go to a frat party, my roommate, whose still my best friend and tells this story. Her brother was in a frat and it was my first frat party so I was like, “OK.” She said, “I’m going to get ready” and I’m like, “I’m ready.” I was wearing no makeup, a ponytail, and a pair of skinny jeans and blouse or something. She was just like, “That’s what you’re going to wear?” And then, from that point on, she took me down the rabbit hole of making me so much girlier.
1. Reformation dress
2. Miriam Designs necklace
3. Cowboy boots from Nashville
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek